Sign up below to be added to our mailing list for the latest news updates, access to exclusive contents, and more!
South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley said the only invitation that interests her is one to the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
That was one of the reasons why Staley declined an invitation from the White House to attend a ceremony Friday to honor college sports’ championship teams, ESPN reported.
“We did hear from the White House about attending tomorrow's event, but we will not be able to attend,” Staley said in a statement. “As I've been saying since our practices for this season started, all of our focus is on the season ahead. The only invitation we are thinking about is to the 2018 NCAA Tournament.”
The White House did not provide a list of the teams attending, ESPN reported.
The Gamecocks won their first national championship in April. At the time, Staley said the team would go to the White House because “it's what it stands for. It's what national champions do.”
However, Staley told The Associated Press in September that the South Carolina squad had yet to receive an invitation.
“That in itself speaks volumes,” she said, adding that she was not sure the Gamecocks would accept an invitation after “some things transpired over the last few months,” ESPN reported.
President Donald Trump hosted the 2016 NCAA football champion Clemson Tigers at the White House in June. The University of North Carolina's 2017 national championship men's basketball team said earlier this year it could not agree on a date for a visit.